Birding in Martin County

From Palms to Pines

Come explore the natural lands of Martin County and you are sure to add to your birding life list. From the undeveloped beaches and mangrove shorelines of the Indian River Lagoon to the oak hammocks and wetlands, Martin County has a rich diversity of habitats to explore. Within Martin County you can find five Florida State Parks and one National Wildlife Refuge making it a birding paradise and home to many resident and migratory bird species.

You can also catch glimpses of several rare and threatened birds such as the famous Florida Scrub Jay and the Roseate Spoonbill. What are you waiting for? Come immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Martin County.

It is Nesting Season! Please Remember We Share Our Shores with Coastal Birds!

From March to September many species of birds are nesting and raising their young. But did you know that we also have threatened birds that nest on the ground? Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for marked areas. When scared, ground nesting birds can leave their eggs or young making them vulnerable to predators.

When you see birds loafing on the beach or sand spits, they are often resting from migration or feeding – please never chase and keep your dog leashed.

Click HERE to learn more about coastal birds

BIRDING 101

New to birding? No worries! HERE for some tips and tricks to help you plan your birding adventure

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THE LIFE LIST

Below are some iconic birds you may see while on your outdoor adventure in Martin County

FLORIDA SCRUB JAY

This state and federally threatened bird is one of a kind and is only found in Florida. This charismatic bird has a complex social structure and has beautiful blue and grey coloring. Being able to add this bird to your life list is a special and unique experience.

POSSIBLE LOCATIONS: Check out  Jonathan Dickinson State Park for a glimpse of the Florida Scrub Jay. For details, pop into their Else Kimbell Visitor Center to learn more.

ROSEATE SPOONBILL

Once over hunted for their magnificent bright pink feathers, this now threatened bird can be seen throughout Martin County year-round in a variety of water bodies. Their oddly spoon shaped bill has specialized nerve endings which helps them search for food in shallow water.

POSSIBLE LOCATIONS: You can find Spoonbills on the Indian River Lagoon and in other water bodies in Martin County such as Lakeside Ranch STA, Kitching Creek Preserve, Hawks Bluff (Savannas Preserve State Park), or Deleplane Preserve

OSPREY

This amazing raptor can be found year-round in Florida and can be seen swooping and diving into water bodies for its favorite prey- fish. Their habitats include lakes, the coast, rivers and swamps and they are an amazing bird to see flying over our beautiful waters. Listen for their whistling calls to each other!

POSSIBLE LOCATIONS: Any park or preserve near the Indian River Lagoon such as Indian RiverSide Park, Peck Lake Park, Clifton S. Perry Beach, or Twin Rivers Park

PILEATED WOODPECKER

Their distinctive and prehistoric call matches the striking red flaming crest on their heads. These flashy and impressive birds were once threatened due to deforestation but have gradually increased in numbers since the early 1900’s. They are large, growing to 17” and are a delight to see year-round gracefully cruising amongst the trees or on a tree excavating their charismatic rectangle hole.

POSSIBLE LOCATIONS: For some possible sightings (or more likely to hear) the Pileated woodpecker check out spots such as Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area, Halpatiokee Regional Park (Hiking Trails), Maggy’s Hammock Park  or SeaBranch State Park.

WINGS OVER FLORIDA

Check out the Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Wings Over Florida program where you can earn a certificate for different categories of birding achievements.

Click HERE to learn about the program and for a birding check list to guide your birding adventure!

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Upcoming Events

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May 19, 2024
Florida Scrub Guided Hike
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May 19, 2024
Blowing Rocks Preserve Mini Tour: Beach Tour